Master in New Media & Digital Culture


Program Description


New media produced by vast and rapidly expanding creative and commercial industries have become an important part of many everyday activities. Would you like to explore how they are changing our daily practices and cultures?

During the one-year Master’s program in New Media and Digital Culture, you will delve into the many aspects of what it means to live in an age of new media. Guided by an international team of experienced scholars, you will assist with current research projects and learn to reflect critically on how present-day cultures are shaped by social media, data, games, internet activism, apps, data visualisations, mobile devices, algorithms, and participatory platforms.

The program explicitly sees new media as present-day manifestations of cultural, social, political, and economic developments that have known similar expressions in different media technologies at different times. This is different from other programs on new media, which often take a highly disciplinary approach taken from literature/film studies, or have scrapped all references to other fields of media research by focusing solely on the newness of new media. As such, the program has attracted staff with diverse backgrounds who draw on multidisciplinary perspectives from media studies, communication studies, cultural studies, game studies, philosophy, anthropology, art history, gender studies, and political science.

The program pivots around three contemporary features of new media technologies and its relationship to culture and society, namely: the mobile/urban aspect, the ludic/games aspect, and the software/data aspect. While the program highlights the overlaps and synergies between these three aspects we also offer students the opportunity to specialise in a MA profile which relates to these three aspects. Engaging with such a profile means following a set trajectory of courses and a profile-related internship and thesis. An example of such a profile is Media, Data and Society, a co-partnership with the Utrecht Data School.


The program will train you as an independent thinker who is able to critically reflect on contemporary media technologies and their role in cultural production. It will teach you to play a leading role as a constructive thinker, policy advisor, or cultural mediator in the field of New Media and Digital Culture. You will come to possess the tools and vocabularies to investigate and to enlarge our understanding of the many dynamic ways in which new media technologies are embedded within, and reflect on, a changing society.

Both our general program and its more specific profile trajectories cater to a job market and an industry interested in graduates who are capable of critical engagement with the cultural implications of the complex media culture we live in. To facilitate both in-depth knowledge about new media and digital culture with more practical hands-on experience, you will also complete a research internship towards starting a promising career.

Moderately sized groups of students, individual tutoring, and the chance to participate in international research projects provide you with multiple ways to develop your skills, explore your interests, and achieve valuable academic and personal results. Our dynamic and active community of students, alumni, and scholars provides a wide array of extracurricular activities and access to a large network of practitioners, media artists, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and activists from the most diverse strands of digital culture.


  • You have developed the vocabulary to analyse and reflect on the meanings, functions, and effects of new media technologies.
  • You will be able to translate your new media knowledge and skills into practical advice, policies, and applications.
  • You have acquired the tools to become a critical citizen, journalist, researcher, teacher, writer, designer, or policy-maker of the future.

As a graduate of NMDC you are well equipped to fill a position in educational and cultural institutions, governmental institutions or in Media and ICT industries.

Career Prospects

Graduates of this Master’s programme await a large and expanding professional field:

  • Media industries: graduates enter careers in media, information, communication, and cultural industries as advisor, producer, developer, interface/software architect, festival organizer, presenter, designers engineer, etc.
  • Governmental institutions: graduates fill advisory positions in governmental institutions and shape policies that make a difference in how our society gives its citizens the (digital) opportunities to act and have influence. The political ramifications of new media are often hidden in hardware and algorithms, but our students will know how to bring them out in the open and make them subject of critical reflection.
  • Educational and cultural institutions: graduates are well prepared to transfer knowledge and skills in ways that connect with the expectations of many types of audiences in educational and cultural settings. Think of schools and universities, or public organizations that help advocate new media literacies.

Professional Careers

Around 80% of our graduates find a job within six months after graduation, mostly via the networks created during the research internship phase of the programme.

Some examples of careers of our alumni:

  • Lindsy Szilvasi works as a Legal Assistant Trademarks at Google.
  • Ward Geene is a Game Journalist /and Editor in Chief at IGN Benelux.

Other alumni found jobs as:

More graduates have found jobs at, amongst others:
Google | VPRO | PICNIC | Mindshare | Beeld & Geluid | Rathenau Institute | Rabobank | Oxfam/Novib | Greenberry

Academic Careers

The Master’s programme in New Media and Digital Culture does not specifically train you to become an academic scholar with a PhD degree. Even though some of our graduates have successfully pursued an academic career, we would recommend applying for the two-year Research Master’s programme in Media and Performance Studies if you are specifically interested in obtaining a PhD degree.

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of int ... Read More

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned European League of Research Universities. Read less